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NZ numbers rally: Gov to invest NZ$5 million

International student enrollment fell by 37% last year in the Canterbury region of New Zealand, due to the fallout of the Christchurch earthquakes. However, across the rest of the country, international numbers increased by 6%, resulting in a decrease of just 0.5% nationwide for 2011. These results have just been announced by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education.

The industry remains in good shape to double its economic contribution to New Zealand to $5 billion

In addition, income from international students rose by 3% last year to NZ$732.3 million in spite of the drop in revenue from Christchurch, normally New Zealand’s second-largest centre for international education. Total student numbers were down slightly to 98,930.

Minister for Education, Steven Joyce, has pledged his support for the industry and underlined its relative buoyancy. New measures were also unveiled this week to help boost the industry in the greater Christchurch area. NZ$5 million will be dedicated to enabling “sustainable growth” in the sector over the next four years.

China was still the largest contributor of international students, providing 24% of all international students

The initial NZ$1 million has already been allocated. NZ$510,000 will go toward sparking growth in 2012 using initiatives to increase student inflow. NZ$170,000 will go to develop an international Christchurch/Canterbury marketing plan which all education providers can use, NZ$165,000 to support and develop industry capability and NZ$155,000 to help maintain a presence in Christchurch’s top five offshore markets, starting with an education mission focused on Japan.

“The results show that despite the downturn in student numbers in Christchurch, the rising value of the dollar, and stiff international competition, the international education industry remains in good shape to double its economic contribution to New Zealand to $5 billion by 2025,” said Joyce.

“New Zealand is maintaining its international reputation of delivering high quality education.”

There were notable increases in international students from China (9%), India (6%) and Saudi Arabia (4%). China was still the largest contributor of international students, providing 24% of all international students.

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